Photo: Amendment calls for 40 helicopters
A fleet of 40 helicopters will be deployed along the border with Mexico if the security amendment included in the immigration reform bill is adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives, The Washington Post revealed today.
These acquisitions will prove to be bonanza for some of the largest defense companies in the industry thanks to the specifications contained in the proposal from Republican Senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven.
Some of the beneficiaries include companies like Bell, Northrop Grumman, Sikorsky, and American Eurocopter, according to a list of the equipment that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must be purchased if the House adopts the bill.
The Washington Post reports that the amendment was introduced so that a greater number of Republicans approved the initiative in the Senate, hoping to improve their prospects in the House of Representatives, where it faces serious resistance.
Critics of the project, like Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, described the amendments as a stimulus package for companies in this sector.
The amendment mandates the purchase of 15 Black Hawk helicopters manufactured by Sikorsky, costing 17 million each.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must acquire eight helicopters manufactured by American Eurocopter light, with a price of $ 3 million each as well as 17 UH-1N helicopters manufactured by Bell.
The Washington Post emphasized that in this case it is a very old model that the company does not manufacture more.
The bill also establishes the acquisition of six radar systems manufactured by Northrop Grumman, each of which has a cost of 9.3 million dollars.
Amendment represented an addition of 38 billion dollars to the 8 million initially considered.
The bulk of the expenditures, 30 billion dollars, will go to hiring more than 19,000 Border Patrol agents in the next decade, which will add to the 21,000 that are currently in service.
Though the amendment allows the DHS to acquire substitute equipment if determined appropriate, agencies estimated civilian oversight that these specifications will result in direct purchases and not the result of a bidding process.
“Legislators have put their fingerprints for specific products and that’s hard to ignore for an agency,” said Group Vice President Taxpayers for Common Sense, Steven Ellis.
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